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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The intimate ties of ancestral and personal identification with England were severed when the Foster family became established in the United States during the early half of the nineteenth century. With the head of the household came his family, which included a son, John, then eight years of age. Reared amid frontier conditions in Missouri, he became associated with general farm pursuits in Pike county, that state, where Ms parents remained until their deaths; but he, with the adventurous spirit of the pioneer, sought newer lands in the far west. Establishing himself near Capay, Yolo county, he bought a small tract of land and later added to his pos- sessions from time to time until he had the title to about two thousand acres of raw land. A portion of this has been sold, but he still owns fourteen hundred acres, representing the energetic efforts of his lifetime. Retired from active labors, he and his wife reside in Berkeley, where they are surrounded by the comforts rendered possible by their own laborious and long-continued efforts.

Among the seven children comprising the family of John Foster there was a son, Walter Theodore, whose birth occurred at Woodland, Yolo county. Gal., in September, 1872, and whose education was secured in the public schools of that county, the Pierce Christian College at College City, Colusa county, and a business college from which he was graduated in 1892. His marriage, September 8, 1893, united him with Miss Maggie Kirtland, and they settled on a farm in Yolo county. For a time he leased fifteen hundred acres owned by the Bank of Woodland and while acting as foreman for that institution he also became the personal owner of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land in Yolo county. For a time he operated both his own property and that of the bank, but at the expiration of twelve years he began devoting himself exclusively to his own tract. Two years later he came to Sacramento and settled in Oak Park in October, 1906, since which time it has been taken into the incorporation of Sacramento, but at that time was outside of the corporate limits.

Coming to Oak Park in 1906, Mr. Foster was a member of the real-estate firm of Becker & Foster until 1908 and since the latter year he has conducted real estate activities alone, having his office on the corner of Thirty-fifth and Cypress streets. When he first became a resident of the suburb he bought for $800 a tract 40x75 feet in dimensions and on this site he erected a two-story modern office and store building, for which after its completion he was offered $25,000. Opposite the block he owns another corner, which likewise has become very valuable. Recently he paid $12,000 for a location near his office building, and here he is now erecting a modern fireproof moving-picture theatre, containing all the latest ideas in such buildings and leased for three years to C. E. Hoffman, of Reno.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Foster consists of four children, namely: Lester, Grace, Meryl and Ruth. The son is not only a student in school, but also successfully superintends the insurance business in charge of his father. In politics Mr. Foster has been a lifelong adherent of the Democratic party and a stanch supporter of its principles. Although enjoying the opportunity of holding office he has never aspired to such positions, his tastes inclining him rather toward business pursuits. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Eagles and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. From early life he has been a believer in the doctrines of the Christian Church and has identified himself with its missionary and charitable movements. No one has more faith than he in the future of the Sacramento valley and the expansion of a Greater Sacramento, enjoying all the advantages and conferring all the opportunities within the power of a capital city that is progressive, prosperous and far-reaching in its activities. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011